Download Biological Resource Centers: Knowledge Hubs for the Life by Scott Stern PDF

By Scott Stern

Organic source centres (BRCs) acquire, certify and distribute organisms to be used in study and within the improvement of commerical items within the pharmaceutical, agricultural and biotechnology industries. they preserve a wide and sundry assortment, together with mobilephone strains, micro-organisms, recombinant DNA fabric, organic media and reagents, and the knowledge know-how instruments that permit researchers to entry organic fabrics. BRCs have confirmed themselves as an important aspect within the lifestyles technological know-how innovation infrastructure, from their early effect on virology to their an important position in addressing cross-culture illness within the Seventies to their present management in selling an international biodiversity community. They confront new demanding situations, due to shifts within the nature of organic examine, the interplay among private and non-private researchers and the expanding specialize in biosecurity. This quantity bargains a scientific fiscal evaluate of the effect of organic source centres via their position in facilitating cumulative wisdom within the lifestyles sciences and development on their roles as wisdom hubs - associations that facilitate the move of clinical and technical wisdom between participants of a examine neighborhood. the information hubs framework bargains perception into easy methods to strengthen and assessment coverage proposals that impinge at the regulate and entry of organic fabrics. Stern argues that technological know-how and innovation coverage has to be premised on a transparent realizing of the position that wisdom hubs play and the coverage mechanisms that inspire their sustained development and effectiveness.

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The 1998 increase in general science and decrease in energy resulted from a reclassification. qxd 20 10/18/2004 10:34 AM Page 20 A Short History of Biological Resource Centers Beyond simply responding to scientific advances, BRCs established standardized and accessible materials, facilitating more rapid scientific and medical advancement. Consider the identification of the gene for Huntington’s chorea. In 1979 Nancy Wexler, a leading Huntington’s researcher, began the systematic collection of tissue samples from the residents of a Venezuelan town with a high incidence of the disease.

Qxd 10/18/2004 10:34 AM Page 36 3 Climbing atop the Shoulders of Giants: BRCs as Cumulative Knowledge Hubs B y helping establish norms and procedures for authenticating and exchanging biological materials, biological resource centers have been crucial in the development of the life sciences in the past half century. Though the centers are invisible to the public, scientists are keenly aware of their impact, from their early influence on virology to their crucial part in addressing cross-culture contamination in the 1970s to their current leading role in creating an international BRC network.

The concept of knowledge hubs has become popularized in the last several years in a number of separate contexts, ranging from the use of knowledge management systems within individual companies (Mach and Owoc, 2001), to mechanisms to facilitate electronic commerce (Kaplan and Sawhney, 2000) to means to enhance location-specific knowledge accumulation(Garrett-Jones, 2004; Owen-Smith and Powell, 2004). Recent research has emphasized the crucial role played by network hubs in the structure and performance of networks (Barabasi, 2002), with particular focus on the research networks (Powell, Koput, and SmithDoerr, 1996; Powell and others, 2004).

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